By Ellen Eisenberg

By Ellen Eisenberg, Executive Director of The Professional Institute for Instructional Coaching (TPIIC)

Monday, March 15, 2021

Social media is a good news/bad news story. For instance, when reports about available vaccines are posted, we are thrilled with getting that information in a timely manner along with helpful hints to secure them. On the other hand, when reports are based on opinion rather than facts, being a discerning reader and critical viewer are critical for understanding and acceptance.

Now, take this one step further… what are educators posting and can the information be misconstrued or misunderstood? What is posted becomes one’s identity and forever associated with that person. Can something with an innocent intent be heard in a not so innocent way? (Think tone in an email!)

Especially in times of this pandemic, virtual or digital communication has been the only way to survive. In fact, not being totally prepared for the digital presence thwarted early learning opportunities. Teachers and students were thrust into each other’s living rooms, ready or not.

Students connect to their own classmates and beyond their classroom walls. They are super sleuths and can discover much about their peers, family friends, and their teachers by what is written on their social media platforms. And, we know that prospective employers check social media for any insight into their potential hires.

So while the article mentioned below is about colleges and universities, I think the lessons shared are universal.

Online posts and opinions must be carefully planned and executed; perception is reality. How one’s thoughts are perceived will follow that person indefinitely. As a result, educators have another obligation to fulfill… being responsible digital citizens because their reach is without boundaries.

“For so many students, educators not only instruct about curricula. They offer life: a living example of productive citizenship, ethical decision-making, and the continuous quest for knowledge and innovation” (, “Are You a Digital Threat to Your College?). Who you are becomes crystal clear from your online messaging. As Gandhi says,

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”

And in the digital world, these live forever.

What is your advice for digital messaging?

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